Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Star Wars RL: Introduction

Lately I've been on a bigger Star Wars kick than usual. I'm closely following the progress of the Star Wars Galaxies emulator, watching the movies AND the TV show, and storming through a big chunk of the EU novels. Frankly, I'm surprised it's taken me this long to consider the idea of a Star Wars roguelike.

Ideally a Star Wars roguelike would push the boundaries of a traditional roguelike. I imagine the player traveling to several different planets and raiding dozens of dungeons, all while following a faction-aligned plot. To solidify this article as a "proof of concept" deal, I'll elaborate on several ideas that fit both the roguelike idea and the Star Wars theme.

Players will be able to select a species for their character from a large list of iconic Star Wars species. The choices will range from the "standard" Human to the curious Jawa to the magnificent Mon Calamari (and you know, a whole bunch more in-between). No species will play exactly alike: some will offer minor attribute adjustments from the Human template, while others will receive special abilities that define their play style.

Players will also be able to select a profession of choice. Currently I envision three base professions: the Mercenary (a blaster specialist), the Warrior (a melee specialist), and the Adventurer (sort of a hybrid). These professions will later on develop into more disciplined roles. The Mercenary might become a Bounty Hunter or a Commando, for example.

I have a fairly simplistic idea for an attribute system. The player character will have three attributes: Agility, Strength, and Technical. Agility influences blaster damage and dodging, Strength influences melee damage and hit points, and Technical focuses mostly on special abilities. All the attributes have a base of 10 and receive a bonus for every 2 points above 10. In addition, each point of an attribute adjusts the secondary portion, such as hit points and dodging. The player character is penalized if an attribute drops below 10, but only from the secondary portion. The attributes would have no explicit cap.

This seems like a reasonable closing period for an introductory article. Keep in mind that, like most of the articles, the idea of a Star Wars roguelike is still pretty heavily in the idea stage (though I am approaching a working prototype). In future articles on this idea I plan to discuss the above in more detail.

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